Aspasia Manos

Infobox Greek Royalty
name = Aspasia Manos


imgw = 150
caption = Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark, wearing a folk dress and traditional jewelry
title = Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark
styles = "HRH" Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark
"Miss" Aspasia Manos
date of birth = birth date|1896|9|4
place of birth = Tatoi, Athens, Greece
date of death = death date and age|1972|8|7|1896|9|4
place of death = Venice, Italy
spouse = Alexander I of Greece
issue = Alexandra, Queen of Yugoslavia
father = Petros Manos
mother = Maria Argyropoulos

Aspasia Manos (4 September 1896-7 August 1972), was a Greek commoner who became the wife of Alexander I, King of the Hellenes. Due to the controversy over her marriage, she was styled Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark rather than Queen Aspasia of Greece.

Princess of Greece and Denmark

On 4 November 1919, at Tatoi, Aspasia Manos married King Alexander in a secret, civil wedding. [cite book| editor = Hueck, Walter von| title = Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels Fürstliche Häuser Band XIII| year = 1987| publisher = C. A. Starke| location = Limburg an der Lahn| language = German| pages = p.33] Their marriage caused a scandal, and the couple was forced to temporarily flee to Paris. She never took the title of Queen, being known as "Madame Manos" by those aware of the marriage. [cite book| author = Diesbach, Ghislain de| others = translated from the French by Margaret Crosland| title = Secrets of the Gotha| year = 1967| publisher = Chapman & Hall| location = London| pages = p. 225] Alexander lived less than a year after the wedding. His father, King Constantine I, was restored to the Greek throne a month after Alexander's death and returned from exile. His government officially treated the brief reign of his late son as a regency, which meant that Alexander's marriage, contracted without his father's permission, was technically illegal, the marriage void, and the couple's posthumous child illegitimate.

At the behest of Alexander's mother, Queen Sophia, a law was passed in July 1922 which allowed the King to retroactively recognize marriages of members of the Royal Family, although on a non-dynastic basis. [cite book| author = Diesbach, Ghislain de| others = translated from the French by Margaret Crosland| title = Secrets of the Gotha| year = 1967| publisher = Chapman & Hall| location = London| pages = p. 225] Thereupon King Constantine issued a decree, gazetted 10 September 1922, recognizing the marriage of Alexander to Aspasia. Henceforth, she and her daughter were accorded the title "Princess of Greece and Denmark" and the style of "Royal Highness". [cite book| editor = Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh| title = Burke's Guide to the Royal Family| date = 1973-03-06| publisher = Burke's Peerage | location = London| id = ISBN 0-220-66222-3] This title was customarily borne by non-reigning members of the Greek Royal Family, who also happened to be members of a cadet branch of the reigning dynasty of Denmark.

Aspasia and Alexander were the parents of only one child, Princess Alexandra, born five months after Alexander's death at Tatoi (her father having died of sepsis following a monkey bite). Alexandra would later marry Peter II, King of Yugoslavia.

Aspasia Manos and her daughter were the only members of the Glücksburg dynasty, the Greek Royal House, to be of recent Greek descent. Like most European Royal Families by the 20th century, the Glücksburgs were predominantly German in descent, but had some Greek blood dating back to the Middle Ages through the Royal Byzantine ancestry of Greek Royal Family.

Due to the combination of her daughter and son-in-law's health problems, financially straitened circumstances and troubled marriage, Aspasia acted as guardian to her grandson Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia (born 1945). [cite book| author = Diesbach, Ghislain de| others = translated from the French by Margaret Crosland| title = Secrets of the Gotha| year = 1967| publisher = Chapman & Hall| location = London| pages = p. 337] She raised him mostly in England. She had the pleasure, just a month before her death, of seeing Alexander marry a Royal Franco-Brazilian, Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza.

She died in Venice, and was initially interred at the cemetery of San Michele island near Venice. Her remains were later transferred to the Royal Cemetery Plot in the park of Tatoi near Dekeleia (23 km north of Athens.)

Her living descendants include her only grandson Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, and her three great-grandsons Prince Peter of Yugoslavia, Prince Philip of Yugoslavia and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.

Family

Aspasia was born in Athens, the daughter of Colonel Petros Manos and his wife, Maria Argyropoulos (1874-1930). Her family descended, in part, from Phanariote Greeks living in Constantinople.

Her ancestry [Genealogics pedigree|id=00029841] is deeply rooted in the Vlach and Rhomaion peoples of the Balkans, particularly in the Danubian principalities, as well as in the Peloponnese and Constantinople.

Some of her ancestors had been leaders during the Greek War of Independence, some had been Hellenic leaders in Constantinople for centuries under the Ottoman Empire, and some had even been reigning princes of Danubian provinces. She belonged to one of Greece's most aristocratic families, and was considered a suitable consort for a Greek king by some, but not by those who expected royalty to marry only royalty.

Paternal Ancestry

Her paternal grandparents were Thrasybulos Manos (1835-1922) from Phanar and Roxane Mavromichalis (1848-1905. Thrasybulos Manos was a son of Constantinos Manos (1785-1835) and Sebastie Argyropoulos (1806-1883). His own paternal grandparents were Demetrios Manos and Marioara Caragea. Demetrios was a son of Euphrosyne Ghica from Romania, a member of that Albanian Aromanian clan. Marioara was a member of the Phanariot Caradjas, a princely family which supplied high officials to the Ottoman Empire and rotating rulers to Danubian principalities.

His maternal grandparents were Jakob Argyropoulos and Marioara Soutzos, descendant of the Phanariot Soutzos family, sometime princes of Wallachia and Moldavia. Marioara (Marie Soutzos) was a sister of Grigore Sutzu, and daughter of the ruling prince. Roxane Mavromichalis descended from a ruling family of local Greek beys of the Mani Peninsula in the Peloponnese, as well as from the Benakis family of Kalamata; being a daughter of Petros Mavromichalis (1819-1892), and Eufrosyne Soutzos (d. 1878) from Bucharest. Petros was a son of Kyriakos Mavromichalis from Peloponnese. Father and son were kin of Petros Mavromichalis, a leading Greek freedom-fighter, and the Maniot bey in Peloponnese.

Eufrosyne Soutzos was a daughter of Ruxandra Racovitza (d 1866), of a Wallachian princely family (daughter of Dumitrasco Racovitza and Marioara Cantacuzino), by Constantinos Soutzos (Costache Sutzu). Constantinos Soutzos himself had been a Grand Marshal of Moldavia. He was also a son of the aforementioned Grigore Sutzu, and grandson of Michael "Draco" Soutzos, a reigning prince of Moldavia and Wallachia.

Through both Gregorios Soutzos and Marioara Sutzu, Aspasia descended from their parents, Prince Michael Draco Soutzos (Mihai Draco Suţu), a monarch of Moldavia and Wallachia, and his wife Sebastie Callimachi. Sebastie was a daughter of Ioan Teodor Callimachi, another reigning prince of Moldavia. Michael "Draco" Soutzos was a son of Constantinos Draco Soutzos and Marioara Ruset (Ruset-Roznoveanu). His maternal grandparents were Iordaki Rosetti and Princess Elena Mavrocordat of Moldavia.

Elena Mavrocordat was a (sister of Nicholas Mavrocordatos, Prince of Valachia and Moldavia, and) daughter of Count Alexander Mavrocordatos and Sultane Chrysokoule of Valachia. Her maternal ancestry came from Alexandru Ilias, reigning Prince of Wallachia and Moldavia, and one of the last agnatic members of the Bogdan-Mushat clan of native princes of Moldavia, as well as a cognatic descendant and heir of medieval Basarab princes of Valachia.

Maternal Ancestry

Her maternal grandparents were Jacob Argyropoulos (1845-1923) and Aspasia Anargyrou Petraki. Jacob was a son of Perikles Argyropoulos (1810-1860) and Aglaia Rosetti (d. 1871). Perikles Argyropoulos was son to the above-mentioned Jacob Argyropoulos and Princess Marioara Soutzos - which means that Aspasia is, through this lineage, also descended from the same reigning monarchs. Jacob was a son of Phanariote Manolos Argyropoulos, originally from Thessaloniki.

External links

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References


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